Remembering Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans worldwide are mourning the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, who succumbed to cancer yesterday at the age of 56.

At Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, flags flew at half-staff and bagpipes sounded to the tune of “Amazing Grace” as people placed flowers on a white iPad with a picture of Jobs. Mourners around the world flocked to Apple stores and even Jobs’s home in Palo Alto, holding iPhone-lit vigils and leaving mementos.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and Sony (NYSE:SNE) Chairman Howard Stringer are among the business leaders who have expressed their admiration for Jobs following his passing. President Barack Obama and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair have also issued statements expressing their sympathy and remembering the man who built the world’s most valuable technology company.

“Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs,” Obama said in a statement. “Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.”

“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come,” said Gates. “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”

Jobs stepped down as Apple’s chief executive in August, naming Tim Cook as his replacement, while staying on as company chairman. His death comes only a day after Cook introduced the newest iPhone to the public at the sort of event over which Jobs used to preside.